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Oakland Soul Food Report

Amecameca | Aug 24, 200512:30 AM

I took my daughter to Mills College last week and all she wanted to eat was soul food. We ended up eating at Nellies, Home of Chicken and Waffles, and Southern Cafe on successive nights. My assessment: Best fried chicken prize goes to Southern Cafe. Nellie's breading is too close to KFC for my taste, and the chicken at HOCAW wasn't very fresh tasting. Best cornbread: Southern Cafe (delicious and fresh out of the oven). Best collard greens: HOCAW by a mile (boy they were good, with delicious shreds of smoked pork -- ham hock?) The greens at Nellie's were kind of tasteless, and the spicy greens at Southern Cafe were good, but not great. Best decor award of course goes to HOCAW -- we loved the family and friends and menu items painted on the wall above the counter. Best value: Southern Cafe. Their prices are lower than the other two places, and it's neat that everything is on the "sides" menu, even the main meat dishes. Rather than order a meat with three sides, if you are with several people, you should just order several meats and vegetables off the sides menu and share. Thanks to the folks on this list who steered us to Nellies and Southern Cafe!

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